category: Faculty Emeriti - In Honor Of

George R. Cribb

Professor Emeritus of Music

George R. Cribb

Dr. George R. Cribb (1927 -),
 university professor,
 department chair and
 choir director, was born in
 coastal South Carolina, the son
 of Boyd and Frances Granger
 Cribb. The son of a farmer, Cribb’s early values
 were shaped as he developed a
 respect for the traditional ethic
 of hard work. He graduated 
from Floyds High School in
 Nichols, S.C., and then earned
 a Bachelor of Arts degree in
 music, education, and Spanish
 from Wake Forest University,
 where he also minored in English and religion. He earned both a master’s degree in music education and his specialist degree in music education, along with minors in education and psychology from Teacher’s College, Columbia University, New York, N.Y., in 1952, and the Ed.D. degree with a major in music education and minors in guidance and personnel administration from North Texas State University, in Denton, Texas, in 1965.

Cribb also studied at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, N.J.; Hartt College of Music of the University of Hartford, Conn.; the University of Kentucky in Lexington, Ky.; York University, York, England.; the University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, Miss.; and the School of Sacred Music, Union Theological Seminary, New York, N.Y.

Aside from his studies, Cribb began his teaching career from 1948 to 1950 as a student assistant, teaching piano and fundamentals of music at Wake Forest College (now University), where he was also an accompanist for college concerts and choirs.

In the early 1950s, Cribb taught public school music at Justice Elementary School, Louisburg, N.C., and Wingate Public School, Wingate, N.C. Also in 1950-1951, he was an instructor of piano, music theory, and English, and an accompanist for the college choir at Wingate College, Wingate, N.C., while employed locally by the school or the college. His experience included teaching, either part time or on an interim basis, church music as minister of music in Baptist, Presbyterian and Episcopal churches.

From 1952 to 1957, Cribb taught piano, music theory, music history, and conducting at William Carey College, Hattiesburg, Miss. During this time he also served as head of the piano department and, for one year, as acting chairman of the music department.

Cribb’s next career move was to Mississippi College (1957–1963) in Clinton, Miss., where, as a coordinator of music education, he was also in charge of music education courses and student teaching in music. While at Mississippi College, he taught piano and was the director of the Men’s Chorus. In addition, he served as administrative assistant to the chairman of the Division of Fine Arts, representing the department of music. Cribb founded and administered a group piano instructional program; he founded an Opera Workshop and served as musical director for its first opera; he founded, organized, and served as administrator of the Fine Arts Audio-Visual Center serving the art and music departments and housing the music library; he served as chairman of the committee which prepared instructional programs for the music department for evaluation by the National Association of Sacred Music.

In 1963 Cribb relocated to Denton, Texas, where, as a doctoral teaching fellow, he taught music education and piano at North Texas State University. One year later in 1964, he assumed the following positions at Campbellsville College in Campbellsville, Ky.: chairman of the Department of Fine Arts and coordinator of the Instruction in Piano and Theory.

Cribb began his tenured career at Gardner-Webb in 1969 as chairman of the Department of Fine Arts and professor of music. He was also a teacher of piano and music theory, as well as the director of the choral ensemble, the official touring choir of the college. Also in 1969, the college instituted a major in music with various concentrations when the junior year of the senior college program was added. He was among the initial music faculty when the college was admitted as an associate member of the National Association of Schools of Music in the fall of 1978. Cribb retired from Gardner-Webb in 1992.

He held numerous offices in professional organizations, most notably state chairman, MENC (The National Association of Music Education—formerly known as the Music Educators National Conference) Student Chapter Program, and in Mississippi’s and North Carolina’s Music Educators Association. Cribb has the distinction of holding the longest term as chairman of the music department of Gardner-Webb. Also, he has served with distinction on the Board of Directors for the Rutherfordton, N.C., Performing Arts Guild, for the Campbellsville Community Concert Association, and for the Cleveland County Community Concert Association.

Highlighting Cribb’s career in music are his remarkable 42 years of service as choir director of various churches, with 21 years of extended service to Shelby (N.C.) Presbyterian Church, from which he retired in 1990.

Cribb was married to Barbara Jensen Cribb (1928-2013), associate professor emerita of education. Retirement affords Cribb the time to indulge in his favorite hobbies of traveling and gardening. The Cribbs raised two children, Robert and David.

Source: Personal Interview—Bud Grissom

Updated: Dr. Darlene Gravett (August 2014)

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